Sustainable development goal (SDG) three is good health and wellbeing, but as we discuss in our blog on photographing people in medical settings, documenting this theme can be both morally and ethically challenging.

Access to both preventative and reactive medical treatment underpins good health and leads to wellbeing. Many of the organisations we work with, like Jhpiego, focus on improving this. At Arete, we tell the stories of the people who are in need of healthcare but also of those benefitting from newly-introduced healthcare initiatives.

Our photojournalists have worked extensively on this theme, in countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania and India; particularly around the provision of child and maternal healthcare. This coverage of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC, by Arete photojournalist Kate Holt, was picked up by the Guardian.

With sensitive issues often being discussed, one must understand how to tell these stories in a way that is respectful of cultural practice, preserves the dignity of each person involved, and obtains their consent. When required, a good visual storyteller must also grasp how to capture emotive content, creating a connection between the subjects of the story and the reader, whilst still preserving the anonymity of those in the images.

When documenting health and wellbeing, it is key to show the good and the bad of medical facilities so as to provide an accurate representation of the challenges being faced. As we discuss in greater detail in our article on Solutions Journalism, providing an honest and insightful story to your viewer will garner greater support for your cause; and with greater support, organisations such as Jhpiego can do more to accomplish this sustainable development goal.

In the run up to the first UN summit on the SDGs on 24th and 25th September, we have been publishing a daily blog on how we help organisations to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Check out our blogs here.